Mayor Joy warns QC gov’t employees against bribery

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Saturday, May 27, warned that the city government will go after its employees who ask for or accept bribes from their clients when doing various services.

“Hindi natin palalampasin ang mga ganitong klaseng pang-aabuso at pagmamalabis sa ating mga QCitizen lalo na kung sangkot mismo ang ating mga kawani sa pamahalaan (We will not ignore these types of abuse to our QCitizens especially if our government employees are involved),” Belmonte said.

“Here in QC, we will never condone the ‘palakasan’ system. No one should dangle money or gifts in exchange for special favors or a shortcut to our processes. We have embraced digitalization so that everything is done expeditiously, eliminating red tape,” she added.

The mayor said that they will also pursue clients who offer bribes to their employees, cut corners or bypass different city processes, laws and regulations.

Belmonte made the statement after two City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) employees were collared in an entrapment operation launched by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Thursday, May 25.

Investigation disclosed that on April 18, 2023, a client applied for a Certificate of Retirement of Business at the CTO.  

He was charged the amount of P77,632 for the total amount of tax due before retirement following an assessment conducted by the suspects who were a revenue examiner and an administrative aide.

The local government said that during the processing of his certificate, the suspects allegedly demanded P50,000 to fast track the release of his documents, on the condition that the "discounted rate" will not be provided with an official receipt.

The victim sought help from the police which led to the suspects’ arrest.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 were filed against the suspects before the QC Prosecutor's Office on Friday, May 26, the local government said. 

According to the Citizen's Charter of the City Treasurer’s Office, the cost for Business Retirement Application depends on the line of business, gross sales, and area of business delinquency and/or deficiency taxes.

The local government said that an internal investigation will be conducted to check if city government employees are involved in such illegal activities.

QCPD Director Brig. Gen. Nicolas Torre III reminded the city residents not to transact with individuals who ask for bribes and to immediately report to them similar incidents for assistance. 

“Corruption has no place in the City Government. We have a zero tolerance policy against corruption. We will not take this issue lightly and we will take appropriate measures to ensure that our public servants have integrity and are transparent because the  constituents deserve the best services from us,” Belmonte said.